2. Red roses are perhaps the most symbolic flower at this time of year, but tulips, carnations and plenty of other spring blooms can be just as lovely. They offer a more original, thoughtful gift and will not hit the bank balance as hard.
3. The red roses most commonly available at this time of year are Rosa ‘Freedom’, Rosa ‘Red Naomi’ and Rosa ‘First Red’. The mid-red ‘Freedom’ is a quality rose, multi-petalled and long-lasting. ‘Red Naomi’ is a strong, long-lasting, multi-petalled rose with a subtle fragrance.
4. The longer the stem of the rose the more it will cost, so if you are going to make your roses into a bouquet buy the length of stem you need.
5. Avoid purchasing flowers that are outside on a cold, windy day as the wind takes moisture from the surface of the petals.
6. Check that the tips of the roses are not bruised or dried out as this will prevent the flowers from opening.
7. Roses with severely bent stems are seconds.
8. Don’t purchase roses with brown marks on the petals as this is botrytis, an unsightly fungal disease that will spread rapidly to other blooms.